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How I got the shotShowcase

2023 Showcase Winner: Ronald Santini

By May 30, 2023No Comments
Rainbow and dramatic light After the Storm, Badlands National Park, South Dakota, 2023 Showcase Judges' Choice, Scapes © Ronald Santini

After the Storm, Badlands National Park, South Dakota, 2023 Showcase Judges’ Choice, Scapes © Ronald Santini

Judges’ Choice: Scapes

Why is this photo special?

As a nature and landscape photographer, you dream about these scenes developing. My wife, son, daughter-in-law and grandkids were inside Badlands National Park, looking for bison when a severe thunderstorm came roaring through. The storm lasted about 20 minutes passing through to the east. I knew if I just waited something spectacular was about to happen. Once the rain stopped, I mounted my camera on my tripod and waited for the right moment. To my surprise, as the sun broke through the clouds to the west, a double rainbow developed to the east in front of us. The storm clouds were still present as the storm moved eastward, providing a very dramatic and epic scene.

The technical stuff

I used a Canon R5 and a Rokinon 15mm, f/2 RF manual focus lens on an Induro CT-203 Carbon Fiber Tripod with a Benro Gear Drive 3 Way head. No filters were used. Camera settings used were ISO 160, 1/200 second, a focal length of f/8 set to 15mm. The Image was processed in Adobe Lightroom and cropped because I could not capture the full double rainbow with the 15mm lens.

About me

Though I have sold some of my photographs for commercial purposes, that is not my primary focus. My primary focus is just shooting for the sheer enjoyment of being outdoors in nature. I spend my time photographing wildlife, nature, landscapes, macro, action sports (basketball, soccer, baseball and football) and what I call “Places that Time has Forgotten.”  I started my photo journey while stationed in the US Air Force in Spain in the late 1960’s, took a break for a few years then actively pursued photography starting in the mid-1980’s.

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania where woodlands, waterfalls and wildlife abound. That interest in the natural world left an imprint on me that I carry with me to this day. To me, photography is where I relax and enjoy the solitude of the natural world. It is where I am at peace with myself. There is always something new to learn in photography and I am a life-long learner. I give much of photography learning credit to Brian Osborne of the Photo Classroom in Charlotte, NC.  I follow many photographers on social media and YouTube and my favorites include Nigel Danson, Charles Glatzer, Rick Sammons, Tony Sweet, just to name a few.

I have been a member of NANPA since 2016. In 2017 one of my photos appeared in the NANPA Expressions publication.

Memorable moments

A couple memorable moments come to mind. The first was in 2013 when I entered my first local photography contest of the Arts Council of Lincoln County Photo Competition. My wife had to prod me to enter, and I did. To my surprise, my photo won Best of Show. I knew then my photography could be special for whomever wanted to view them. The second moment was a photograph I captured at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Utah. I saw a thunderstorm coming through the area of the Mittens with frequent lightning strikes. I put my camera on an intervalometer in hopes of catching a lightning strike hitting a Mitten. After the storm, checking my photos I did capture a lightning bolt hitting a Mitten!

Facebook:  ronsantiniphoto
Instagram: @ronsantiniphotos
LinkedIn: @ronsantini
Fine Art America:

See all of the Top 26 winning images from NANPA’s 2023 Showcase nature photography competition.

Top 26

See all of the Top 250 images from the 2023 Showcase competition in the 2023 edition of  NANPA’s Expressions journal.